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Satan, the Deceiver

(Genesis 3:1-5; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8,9;
Ephesians 6:11-13; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 12:9-11; 20:10)

Lesson 1 -- second quarter 1998
March 1, 1998

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications

The devil's fate is sealed and nothing can ever reverse that. The vicious foe we fight is vanquished. He is doomed and damned. Does he know all this? I don't know, though I find it difficult to conclude that he doesn't. Perhaps he does indeed know what the Bible says and what Christians believe, but continues to believe he can change the outcome. Whatever he may believe about his own destiny, we have no doubt what he believes about ours: it can be changed. So even if he knows the war is lost for him, he will continue to fight with every weapon at his disposal. He may no longer be warring to change the course of his destiny, but he is certainly battling to alter your destiny.

That's right, my friend! The devil wants you!

I assume this truth matters to you. I assume this fact of life concerns you. What are you doing about it? How does it impact your life? I remind you that God doesn't want us to live in a spirit of fear, so that should not be our response to the devil's efforts in our regard. Rather, God commands us to be vigilant against the devil, resisting him steadfastly. Are you?

Please consider just a few of his tactics and devices...and be forewarned. Knowing how he works allows us to mount our defense.

Deception. In our lesson text we note that the devil is the father of lies. That is one form of deception. Another form is the twisting or misrepresenting of truth. But what may be one of the most malicious forms is using something good to bring about ultimate evil. To illustrate this, imagine the devil on a fishing expedition. Like a good fisherman, he will not attach a hook to the line and toss it in just like that. No way! He knows that most fish just won't voluntarily bite on an exposed hook. So, he will consider the type of fish he's after, and will "dress up" the hook accordingly: a flashy lure for some fish, a worm (real or plastic) for others, a fly for yet others. Does he do this because he wants to feed or entertain the fish? Of course not! He wants to feed himself. So listen up, all you fish out there: don't accept anything from the hand of the fisherman. Even the good that may come from him is intended for your ultimate ill. For your own protection, know the truth well, for it will set you free. Know Him Who is Truth, for He will help you see past the wily deceptiveness of the devil.

Lows. We know the devil will attack those who are spiritually weak or "down." But did you know that he will also prey on those who are low physically or emotionally? He doesn't care about fairness and sportsmanship, so don't assume this enemy will do battle only with the strong, fit and healthy. When you realize that you are experiencing some type of low in your life, watch out! Turn to the Lord and let Him be your shield and buckler, for then when you are weak you will be strong.

Highs. How interesting that the devil should also go after those who are "riding the crest." Somehow it seems we are most vulnerable when life is going well and success adorns many of our endeavors. Perhaps it has to do with letting down our guard or resting on our laurels. Maybe it relates to a feeling of strength and invincibility. Who knows; pride and self-satisfaction may be other elements. Whatever. Just know that many peaks have plunging precipices. Beware when successful! Such times especially require that we follow humility and submit ourselves to God.

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